Childhood Hearing Impairment in Senegal

Genes (Basel). 2023 Feb 23;14(3):562. doi: 10.3390/genes14030562.


We recently showed that variants in GJB2 explained Hearing Impairment (HI) in 34.1% (n = 15/44) of multiplex families in Senegal. The present study aimed to use community-based nationwide recruitment to determine the etiologies and the clinical profiles of childhood HI in Senegal. Participants with early onset HI were included after clinical examination, including audiological assessment by pure tone audiometry and/or auditory brainstem response. We investigated a total of 406 participants from 295 families, recruited from 13/14 administrative regions of Senegal. Male/female ratio was 1.33 (232/174). Prelingual HI was the most common type of HI and accounted for 80% (n = 325 individuals). The mean age at medical diagnosis for congenital HI was computed at 3.59 ± 2.27 years. Audiological evaluation showed sensorineural HI as the most frequently observed HI (89.16%; n = 362 individuals). Pedigree analysis suggested autosomal recessive inheritance in 61.2% (63/103) of multiplex families and sporadic cases in 27 families (26.2%; 27/103), with a consanguinity rate estimated at 93% (84/90 families). Genetic factors were likely involved in 52.7% (214/406) of the cases, followed by environmental causes (29.57%; 120/406). In 72 cases (17.73%), the etiology was unknown. Clinically, non-syndromic HI was the most common type of HI (90.6%; n = 194/214 individuals). Among families segregating syndromic cases, type 2 Waardenburg syndrome was the most common (36.3%; 4/11 families). This study revealed putative genetic factors, mostly associated with high consanguinity rate, as the leading causes of early-onset HI in Senegal. The high consanguinity could provide a good opportunity to identify variants in known and novel genes involved in childhood HI.

Keywords: Africa; Senegal; causes; childhood; consanguinity; hearing impairment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Deafness*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss* / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss* / genetics
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / epidemiology
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Senegal / epidemiology